Since this is new to me and new to you, I figured I’d type up a rooting interest guide for Patriot fans who are feeling left out of this year’s NFL playoffs. It’s the first time in over a decade, since 2008, that the Pats haven’t made the postseason. A testament to the spoils we’ve had following the football team out of Foxboro.
Let’s get to who you should be rooting for and who you should be rooting against these NFL playoffs.
Who to root for
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady at the age of 43 is a machine and doesn’t look like he’s lost a step. He has rebounded nicely after that dreadful Thursday Night Football game vs the Bears. He gets the 7-win Washington Football Team.
Coincidence the Patriots don’t make the playoffs the first year he leaves yet he still does? That’s a conversation for another time, I guess.
I will be rooting for TB12 to win his 7th Super Bowl and further solidify himself as the greatest Quarterback of all time. The one argument that had any kind of minor validity to him not being the GOAT was he only played for Belichick and was a “system QB.” 40 TDs and a playoff berth for the perennial lowly Buccaneers should silence those critics, but a 7th Super Bowl definitely will.
Washington Football Team
This is second on the list because if Patriot fans aren’t rooting for Tom Brady, they’re probably rooting against Tom Brady. There’s no middle ground, he’s a polarizing figure. Not saying you don’t appreciate what he did in New England for 20 seasons. I’m saying you’re probably a Patriots fan first and foremost and don’t want to see him succeed elsewhere.
Also, the Alex Smith story is not just a great football story but a great human story. After 17 leg surgeries and doctors questioning whether he would live or not, it’s miraculous he will be one of 14 humans on Earth to be playing Quarterback for an NFL franchise this weekend.
Head Coach Mike Vrabel won three Super Bowls with the Patriots. His son is an offensive lineman for the Boston College Eagles. He’s not from Boston, but he has the attitude of a guy from Boston.
Derrick Henry is a special talent. Just the 8th 2,000 yard rusher in NFL history. I’m sure you’ve seen his viral stiff-arm highlights, and it’d be great to see a couple more of those this postseason.
Ryan Tannehill is actually kind of good at quarterback? And AJ Brown, who was drafted after Nkeal Harry, is a beast.
Cleveland Browns. Why the hell not? Their first postseason trip since 2002. Fun story for a fanbase who’s been craving a shot at the Super Bowl.
Who to root against
On the other side of the table for Patriot fans, teams to actively root against are the obvious ones – the Steelers, Ravens, and Chiefs.
Nobody wants to see the three conference rivals win the Super Bowl. The Steelers are tied with the Patriots for most Super Bowl titles with six and they are limping into the playoffs losing four of their last five games. The Ravens are on opposite ends of the spectrum, as they slumped earlier in the season but are hitting their stride at the right time, winning their last five games. The Chiefs are definitely a Super Bowl favorite, but I’m not ready to see the first repeat championship since the Patriots won in 2005.
A lot to watch for
There’s a great slate of playoff games this weekend with three games on both Saturday and Sunday starting at 1pm. It’s going to be cold here in Boston so sit back and enjoy this weekend. Without the Patriots in the playoffs, do you want to see Tom Brady win his 7th Super Bowl title in Tampa Bay or not?
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